Peek Inside These Glorious Tiny Homes On The NSW South Coast
Tiny homes Bonnie and Clyde in Central Tilba on the NSW south coast offer city workers the chance to embrace nature and unplug from the day-to-day.
Rebecca and Tim Jones were working corporate jobs in Sydney when, in 2015, they decided they wanted a change. They ditched their city life, bought a property in the country and started a bed and breakfast.
Tilba Lake House was a success. Located in the village of Central Tilba on the NSW South Coast, rooms were booked out every night but eventually the Jones’ realised they wanted to attract a different crowd.
“It was always older clients coming to stay, and we’re younger and we thought we wanted to share it with more people,” says Bec.
First came the glamping tents tucked away in a garden overlooking the lake and the ocean beyond. They were an instant hit. Then came the pods, or tiny homes as they’re more commonly known.
The pods were inspired by Bec’s background in environmental science and sustainability; she wanted to build accommodation that respected the surrounding landscape of bright green fields dotted with pine trees and paddocks of cows and sheep.
She also wanted to use Australian materials to build them. The answer came in the form of tiny homes, built at a location only a two-hour drive away. “Just the idea of using local people to build our tiny homes was appealing,” she says.
The couple purchased two tiny homes. Clyde ($285 per night based on a two-night stay) is larger and equipped with a fireplace and oven. According to Bec, it has more of a “guy energy”. Bonnie ($250 a night based on a two-night stay) is smaller, but proving to be more popular with visitors. “It’s priced a little less, but also it’s just really cute, and it’s all you need,” says Bec.
Downstairs, each house has a kitchen, bathroom, and seating nook, as well as plenty of windows. The windows are double-glazed to keep out any draft that might require additional heating and wasted energy. A wooden ladder leads to an attic-type area with a comfy double mattress, small sky roof and power outlets. The homes are solar powered by panels on their roofs, and use rainwater for the shower and kitchen faucet.
The average stay in the homes so far has been two and three nights. For longer stays, the rate is discounted. One-night stays are also encouraged, particularly as an attractive option for those driving between Sydney and Melbourne. “We’re actually starting to get people on business trips as well because there’s free Wi-Fi,” Bec says. “You can still get things done, but you can be in quirky accommodation.”
Conversely, a lot of guests enjoy the opportunity to slow things down, enjoy nature and really unplug from the world. “We also find a lot of people bring bikes and go bike riding because a lot of the roads are not busy. There are no traffic lights or roundabouts,” she says. “So we’re getting a lot of people coming from the city wanting to really unwind, maybe even disconnect and have a break from social media, from work – that sort of thing.”
There’s plenty to explore in the area, too. Nearby Gulaga Mountain can be climbed on a four-hour return hike. Just down the road is 200-year-old Dromedary Hotel, great for people-watching and tasty meals. You can snorkel with seals off Montague Island, a short boat trip from the town one over, Narooma. There are also fresh produce markets, Tilba Winery with a band on every Sunday, and fine dining restaurant The Whale Restaurant.
The main takeaway? “We wanted [guests] to go away with an appreciation for nature,” says Bec. “Appreciation for this little special part of the world because I think it’s quite undiscovered and unspoilt so there hasn’t been a lot of tourists through.”
(Lead image: Tilba Lake House / supplied)
Published 04 February, 2019